Real Estate

Santa Monica Landlord Learns There is No Silver Bullet to Oust Rent Controlled Tenants

Landlord, WIB Holdings, LLC found out first-hand on February 4th that there is no easy way to evict a rent-controlled tenant.  WIB sought to evict their low-income tenant, Paul Aron from his abode for which he was paying well below market value (about $1000 less to be exact).  The theory of the case was that Aron violated his rental agreement by making unsanctioned upgrades to his unit.  A Santa Monica jury ruled unanimously that Paul Aron, was entitled to remain in his home and to top it off, the City of Santa Monica is suing the landlord for harassment of its tenants.  

The various rent stabilization ordinances that dot Los Angeles County cities provide a safe haven for renters and a potential nightmare for landlords.  One of the most common questions we receive from our clients is how to increase their property values by removing low-paying tenants and replacing them with tenants willing to pay the current market value.  Our most common answer?  There is no silver bullet.

It is imperative that when you purchase a property, you consider the weight that rent control can play in diminishing your property's value.  Low rental income can decimate a cap rate making an income purchase a money drain.   If one does choose to take the risk, it is almost certain that he or she will end up paying dividends in either relocation fees or attorney's fees.

If you own a property under rent control and are looking at possibilities for eviction, be sure to contact The Rad Firm, APC at (310) 461-3766.  Our attorneys will help you carefully weigh your options to decide on the move that will work best to maintain the value of your investment.

For more information on the case that inspired this article, click here.

From Wash Rags to Riches: Downtown Los Angeles Carwash Owner Makes Big Bucks on his $500k Investment

The LA Times has reported that a one-time carwash owner is now a multi-millionaire.  No, this isn't the story of Walter White from Breaking Bad, it is a preview of great things to come for Downtown LA investors.  With all of the development, do you think he sold too soon?  Check out the full story by clicking here.

 

“How Long Does an Eviction Take?” and Other Important Questions

Rhino Neal /Flickr

Rhino Neal/Flickr

The Rad Firm, APC prides itself on staffing capable attorneys who can tackle the most abstract question but there are a few questions that plague just about every caller’s mind: 

1)   How long does an eviction take?

Multiple months without rent payments?  LAHD complaints?  Jury trials?!  Evictions can be a financial nightmare for a landlord.  As a landlord myself, I understand the stress a troublesome tenant can bring and just how important it is to get them out before they severely impact one’s bottom line.  

That said, most evictions take approximately six weeks from start to completion.  Factors to take into consideration include: 

·      Whether the tenant is represented by an attorney

·      Whether the tenant files motions

·      Whether a jury trial is requested

·      Where your case will be heard

2)   Where will my case be heard? 

In mid-2013, eviction cases were consolidated to four courts throughout Los Angeles County: Stanley Mosk Courthouse (Downtown Los Angeles), Santa Monica Courthouse, Governor George Deukmejian Courthouse (Long Beach) and Pasadena Courthouse.  This means that all of the eviction cases in L.A. County are now heard in only four courts.  

You can use the “Filing Court Locator” search tool on www.lacourt.org to see where your case will be heard.  Simply enter in the zip code of your property and the site will direct you to the proper court.

3)   What should be my first move?

Your first move, even before contacting an attorney, should be to shore up any Los Angeles Housing Department or Los Angeles Building and Safety complaints levied on the property.  If you have not yet scheduled repairs, schedule them before talking to an attorney.  Any unmade repairs can be hazardous or even fatal to your eviction case.

4)   What does “uncontested” mean?

Uncontested means that the tenant has not answered the lawsuit within the requisite amount of time provided under the law.  For instance, if the tenant is served with the complaint by personal service, the law allows them five days to answer the lawsuit.  If the tenant does not answer the lawsuit or file a motion within those five days, then the matter is uncontested and you can request a default judgment from the court.

Feel free contact us at The Rad Firm, APC with any of your landlord/tenant related questions or comment on this post to see your question appear in the blog.